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sculpture

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1872,0701.81

  • Title (object)

    • sculpture
  • Description

    Female figure carved in sandstone, with a lotus numbus and twelve arms.The goddess is seated in lalitāsana on a lotus base. A considerable number of arms are broken, but in those hands which are preserved, she holds a conch, śaṅkha, ring, kuṇḍala, lotus, padma, shield, kheṭaka, and fruit, jambhīra.With one hand she reaches up and marks her forehead; this suggests that the raised hand immediately opposite may have held a mirror. The goddess is flanked by a princely figure and a standing guardian with a weapon. At the bottom are seated devotees; similar figures are repeated at the top on small ledges. There were additional reliefs in the centre above the goddess' oval lotus nimbus. These have been broken away but the middle one was triangular in shape and was probably a seated tīrthaṁkara. This suggests that the goddess is a Jaina yakṣīṇī, but the iconography does not conform to any description in surviving Jaina texts.

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  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 10thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 1065 millimetres
    • Width: 740 millimetres
    • Length: 320 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Blurton, 1997:
    The goddesses of Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism are intimately linked with the concept of creative energy and power. Through a complex system of ritual and spiritual exercise, generally termed tantra, that power could be appropriated by the individual worshipper and used as a stepping stone to supreme knowledge. Goddesses, when properly invoked, had the ability to unlock energies in the human body, the basic tenet being that the body and the universe have the same fundamental structure. As a consequence, spiritual discipline will unfold inner knowledge and power, the centres of which are often visualized as lotuses inside the body. This is one of the reasons why these deities are shown seated on lotus bases.

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  • Bibliography

    • Blurton 1997 258 bibliographic details
    • Koezuka (1994) Cat. no. 25 bibliographic details
    • Guy & Willis 2007 no. 75 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1994, Kyoto National Museum, Masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture from the British Museum
    1994, Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art, Masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture from the British Museum
    1997 13 Oct-1998 5 Jan, India, New Delhi, National Museum, The Enduring Image
    1998 9 Feb-3 May, India, Mumbai, Sir Caswasjee Jahangir Hall, The Enduring Image

    Walsall, New Art gallery; Indian Sculpture South Bank touring exhibition; 22 Jul-17 Sept 2000
    Norwich, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts; Indian Sculpture...; 27 Sept-10 Dec 2000
    Southampton, City Art Gallery; Indian Sculture...; 12 Jan-25 Mar 2001 2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2006 18 Mar-4 Jun, Beijing, Capital Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2007 3 Feb-27 May, Taipei, National Palace Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    26 Jul-18 Nov, 2007: Barcelona, CaixaForum, L'Escultura en els Temples Indis. L'Art de Devocio.

  • Condition

    Extremely fragile and subject to flaking. Stone conservation as strongly recommended that the piece not travel.

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1872

  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased by John Bridge at the Stuart sale at Christie's in June, 1830. The collection was given to the British Museum in 1872 by Mrs John Bridge and his nieces, Miss Fanny Bridge and Mrs Edgar Baker, on the death that year of George Bridge, brother of John Bridge.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1872,0701.81

Female figure carved in sandstone, with a lotus numbus and twelve arms; seated on a lotus; holds a ring, lotus, mirror and fruit in her surviving hands; with one hand applies a tilaka to her forehead. Below seated and standing attendants, some damaged.

Female figure carved in sandstone, with a lotus numbus and twelve arms; seated on a lotus; holds a ring, lotus, mirror and fruit in her surviving hands; with one hand applies a tilaka to her forehead. Below seated and standing attendants, some damaged.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRI864

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